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The Oregon Labor Dispatch: March 7, 2024

The Oregon Labor Dispatch is a weekly email and blog series designed to keep Oregon’s workers informed of the latest news about unions, worker power, and much more. Each week, we bring you a curated selection of news stories, graphics, and information about upcoming events and actions. When Oregon’s Labor Movement is connected, updated and informed we are able to be stronger advocates for all working Oregonians.


If you have a news story, event or action you’d like to see featured in the Oregon Labor Dispatch please email us at communications@oraflcio.org.



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Take Action Today 

Tell Lawmakers to Pass SB 1578!

SB 1578 will be a meaningful step in improving working conditions for hundreds of health care interpreters in Oregon.  This bill will establish a state-based scheduling and payment system that reduces State spending on third-party scheduling companies while allowing interpreters to earn living wages for the critical resources they provide to our communities. SB 1578 creates a path to retain experienced and credentialed interpreters, which will significantly improve the quality of language access services and health outcomes for Medicaid/OHP patients.


Upcoming Actions & Events

Support Postdoc Researchers at OHSU in Contract Negotiations

March 20 starting at 12:00pm | OHSU, Mac Hall Lawn in Portland 

OHSU can budget to buy Legacy Hospital but won't pay 1 cent for research!  Help union members at OHSU send a message to OHSU to pay their fair share. 


PCCFCE READY TO STRIKE! - Practice Picket & Board Meeting

March 21st starting at 4:00pm | PCC Sylvania Campus in Portland On March 21st, 2024, the PCC Federation of Classified Employees (the union representing non-faculty employees such as custodians, IT, assistants, etc at Portland Community College) will be conducting a practice picket and presenting their strike pledge to the PCC board at the board meeting that follows. 


A Discussion with Anne Broyles, Author of I’m Gonna Paint: Ralph Fasanella, Artist of the People

March 28 starting at 5:00pm | Oregon Labor Center in Portland

Please join the Oregon AFL-CIO and the Oregon Labor Movement for an engaging discussion with Anne Broyles, the author of I’m Gonna Paint: Ralph Fasanella, Artist of the People.  Anne’s book is about the visionary folk artist and labor organizer Ralph Fasanella and is perfect for picture book readers because of its stunning illustrations.  Click here to learn more & RSVP. 





Must Read 

March 5, 2024 | Portland Tribune 

“We are housing advisers at Reed College, and together, 44 of us are standing together to use our strength in numbers to organize the Union of Reed College Housing Advisors (URCHA), which is affiliated with Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 11. By using our collective power as essential employees at Reed, our goal is to defend our rights as workers, create a collective bargaining agreement to ensure our dignity and respect on the job is ensured, and advocate for safer working conditions and fair compensation for Reed’s housing advisers.”


March 4, 2024 | Labor Tribune 

“Recently, the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the University of Illinois School of Labor and Employment Relations released data that showed the number of striking workers in the United States climbed 141 percent from 2022 to 2023. That’s numbers-backed proof of the energy and hope that we feel every day, isn’t it? We are in a generation-defining moment—one in which workers are rightfully seizing our power and unrigging our economy so that it works for everyone, not just the ultra-wealthy. Researchers documented 470 work stoppages involving about 539,000 workers last year. These work stoppages resulted in a total of roughly 24,874,522 strike days.”


Oregon Labor & Politics 

March 6, 2024 | Oregon AFSCME 

“Oregon's 82nd Legislative Assembly passed HB 4045, the Public Safety Workforce Stabilization Act, an historic investment in Oregon's public safety workers.. HB 4045 received overwhelming bipartisan, bicameral support, marking a significant step forward in prioritizing the dedicated workers who serve on the front lines of public safety by allowing them to retire with enhanced benefits.”


March 6, 2024 | Oregon Capitol Chronicle 

“Top leaders in the state House worked out an agreement Wednesday morning with labor unions, business groups and the good-government advocates behind a potential voter initiative. The end result, House Bill 4024, breezed out of the House Rules Committee and passed the House on a bipartisan 52-5 vote Wednesday afternoon. If the full Legislature and Gov. Tina Kotek approve it, backers of two voter-led initiatives said they’ll drop their plans to go to the ballot.”


March 4, 2024 | Oregon Capitol Chronicle 

“HB 4112 is the culmination of 18 months of collaborative effort involving businesses, innovators, labor groups, academics, economic development organizations and climate advocates from across Oregon. This bill would offer a comprehensive approach to maximizing our state’s potential in attracting, expanding and sustaining clean energy technology industries and manufacturers.”


March 1, 2024 | Northwest Labor Press 

“Oregon AFSCME Associate Director Corey Hope Nicholson was elected to the union’s national leadership last month. She’ll represent AFSCME’s six-state Northwest Region as vice president on the union’s national executive board. Nicholson outpolled one other candidate in a vote among delegates from six AFSCME councils at a specially called mini-convention in Seattle Feb. 3.”


March 1, 2024 | Daily Emerald 

“The UO Student Workers Union gained new implementation updates on Feb. 21, highlighting the changes made to officially enforce the Weingarten rights for all student employees. UOSW Union organizer Carolyn Roderique explained that it took time for the university to officially announce these new implementations. Disagreements over some of the Weingarten rights led to a back-and-forth between UOSW and UO. However, it resulted in the university conceding that student workers have Weingarten rights.”


March 1, 2024 | Northwest Labor Press

“2023 was the biggest strike year in decades. We asked readers who struck last year to tell what it was like.”


Politics 

March 6, 2024 | WGAU 

“President Joe Biden will give the State of the Union address on Thursday and there will be several notable guests in attendance. Liz Shuler: Invited by Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wisconsin, Shuler is the president of the AFL-CIO.”


March 6, 2024 | Wisconsin Public Radio

““By supporting workers and our unions, the Biden Administration is working to bring balance and fairness to our economy so that it works for everyone, not just the wealthy and big corporations,” Wisconsin AFL-CIO president Stephanie Bloomingdale said in a statement.”


Organizing 

March 7, 2024 | The Chronicle of Higher Education 

“Before 2022, only two colleges had a union representing undergraduate workers. Now undergraduate students at two large universities and at least seven other colleges have unionized since October — accelerating a trend that began 18 months ago. Last week, 20,000 student workers across the California State University system voted to form a union, following the lead of about 4,000 undergraduates at the University of Oregon.”


March 6, 2024 | Boston Globe 

“REI employees from the company’s nine unionized stores around the country, including in Boston, plan to hike from a park in Issaquah, Wash., to REI headquarters Thursday afternoon to demand that executives come to the table and bargain in good faith. Over the past two weeks, union members have held events in the nine communities where they’re organized to unveil a national platform demanding job security, guaranteed minimum hours, a consistent sick policy, and minimum staffing levels.”


March 5, 2024 | The Washington Post 

“When the ballots were counted Tuesday, Dartmouth’s men’s basketball team had voted to unionize, 13-2, in a historic election on campus in Hanover, N.H. And while this means a ton — for college sports, for athletes’ rights, for the NCAA’s limp grip on amateurism — the process is still far from over. By voting to unionize, the basketball players are now represented by Service Employees International Union Local 560, which already represents some workers employed by the school. “


March 6, 2024 | Teen Vogue 

“When actors walked off set and hoisted their picket signs during the summer of 2023, everyone began learning a complex truth about the lives of professional performers. Those who appear in our favorite films and series are, in fact, mostly not millionaires living in mansions in Beverly Hills. Even those who manage to secure coveted recurring roles on series — after hundreds of hours of unpaid auditioning — often take on additional employment waiting tables or driving for ridesharing services to make ends meet.”


Strikes & Collective Bargaining 

March 6, 2024 | NBC Boston

“Unionized workers at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art went on strike Wednesday after no agreement was reached with the museum on wages. Carrying signs such as “Living Artists Living Wages” and “Our Power is in Our Unity,” the workers picketed outside of the North Adams museum, commonly referred to as MASS MoCA. They said they plan to picket daily until there’s a resolution. The employees' union is part of United Auto Workers Local 2110 and represents about 120 full- and part-time workers, including curators, educators, administrative staff, custodians, employees in visitor services and others. They formed the union in 2021, joining the staff of other renowned museums that have unionized, including Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.”


March 5, 2024 | Pittsburgh Union Progress

“Workers represented by Local 29 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers finished their shifts on Monday and made their way to the North Shore, where they joined striking Pittsburgh Post-Gazette workers on a picket in front of the newspaper’s offices. The IBEW members were motivated to show solidarity after two members heard striking PG reporter Ed Blazina speak at a recent meeting of the Allegheny/Fayette Central Labor Council. Blazina discussed the challenges of striking for an extended period of time and the importance of support from other unions. Post-Gazette unions went on strike in October 2022.”


March 5, 2024 | ABC 7

The latest round of Hollywood union negotiations started Monday as the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and the Hollywood Basic Crafts group, which includes the Teamsters, began what could end up being months of talks. The contracts for the unions are set to expire July 31, leaving about four months to reach new deals -- something experts say most in Hollywood would like to see.


March 5, 2024 | KFGO

“Boeing and its largest union open talks on Friday seeking the first new contract in 16 years as the U.S. planemaker grapples with its ongoing 737 MAX safety crisis and after big gains by workers in other sectors of the economy. U.S. unions have capitalized on tight labor markets to win hefty contracts at the bargaining table, with mainline pilots, autoworkers and others scoring big raises in 2023. Unlike auto workers who were able to leverage strong industry profits, Boeing is losing ground to rival Airbus and trying to manage a crisis that erupted after a door plug blew off an Alaska Airlines 737 MAX jet in mid-air on Jan. 5. Boeing reported a net loss of $2.2 billion in 2023 after losing $5 billion in 2022.”


Workplace Safety 

March 5, 2024 | Times Union

Organized labor is seeking a non-punitive option to improve safety for retail workers, amid high rates of theft in stores in New York. A rally in the state Capitol on Tuesday for the legislative proposal, the Retail Worker Safety Act, comes as Gov. Kathy Hochul continues to seek support from lawmakers for increasing criminal penalties for assaulting a retail worker.


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